The big standout of the biopic is Drew Barrymore, who is positively radiant as Little Edie. I couldn't stop marveling at how well she embodied the younger Beale -- Drew has appeal and charisma for miles and miles, but when it comes to actual acting chops, she is not the most vigorous. This movie was the role she may have been born to play, and hopefully when the Emmys come around, the industry will agree. She had excellent help from costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas, as the 1930s have never seemed more appealing.
Fans of the original movie will find the homage and backstory rewarding (see the clip below), and for those who are new to the phenomenon of the Beales, Drew & company will have you hooked. The film will be rerunning all through the week so keep your eyes glued to HBO.
-- A. RAYMOND JOHNSON
Previously > 17 Again -- worth it just for Efron's blue eyes and biceps